Bronzeworking from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages – Report on the workshop

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Center for Humanities, Institute of Archaeology and the ’Momentum’ Mobility Research Group of HAS RCH IA organized a scientific conference titled Bronzeworking from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages – Workshop on the possibilities of archaeological and historical study of bronze objects’ on the occasion of the Celebration of Hungarian Science on 25 November, 2016.

At the conference, the invited archaeologists, physicists, material scientists and professionals in the art of experimental archaeology focused on the production and use of artifacts made of various copper alloys, mainly of bronze. Latest results of the research of bronze objects dated from prehistoric times to the early modern ages were presented through detailed analysis of the casting process, the subsequent processing and decorating. The multidisciplinary lectures provided instructive methodological tools that are generally applicable to a variety of archaeological and historical artifacts. These include finding the right way to answer our questions: it is now clear that based on observations from non-destructive testing that are appropriate to heritage conservation strategies, well-planned, targeted, low-destruction testing is also worthwhile to complete our research. Another important conclusion of the workshop was that the results of metal object analysis from various periods allow different conclusions. For example, concerning the first thousand years of the Bronze Age we can attempt to determine raw material sources, while due to the common mixing of raw materials and frequent recycling during the Late Bronze Age or in Roman times, a succesful identification of workshops may only be based on the analysis of manufacturing techniques. The organizers would like to publish the results of research presented at the workshop in a conference volume.